FEBRUARY 14, 2020 – Domestic workers will now be allowed again for deployment to Kuwait, the labor secretary announced on Friday, after charges have been filed against the employers of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) beaten to death.
Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has approved a resolution permitting the processing and deployment of all types of workers bound to the tiny oil-rich Arab kingdom.
“After due consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and with the filing of appropriate charges against the perpetrators [in the killing] of OFW Jeanelyn Villavende, the Governing Board of the POEA unanimously approved the lifting of the remaining ban in Kuwait with respect to the deployment of household workers,” Bello said in a statement.
On January 15, the Philippines banned the total deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait for violating their agreement on workers protection.
The order was made following reports that Villavende was tortured and beaten to death by her employers. There were indications she also suffered sexual abuse from her employers, a report from the National Bureau of Investigation showed.
The two countries deliberated anew and came up with a harmonized employment contract for Filipino domestic workers. The ban was lifted afterwards except for newly-hired and returning domestic workers.
In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte also imposed a deployment ban to Kuwait after the death of Filipina worker Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found in a freezer.
More than 50 percent of close to 250,000 documented workers in Kuwait are household workers, the Department of Labor and Employment said. (Karen Macalalad/MM)
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